Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Chickpeas & Quinoa

This Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad comes together in just a few minutes, and is packed full of protein and vitamin C. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.

Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa and Chickpeas

Show of hands: who likes eating fistfuls of raw parsley? Like, nobody, right?

But who likes tabbouleh?

That’s what I thought. All of y’all. Because tabbouleh is awesome.

Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa and Chickpeas
Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa and Chickpeas

For those of you who don’t know (and are totally put off by the idea of fistfuls of raw parsley) let me explain. Tabbouleh salad is a Mediterranean dish, typically made with a bunch of raw parsley, fresh lemon juice, and bulgar wheat.

You might not think it would taste very good, but that acidic hit of lemon with the bright, sharp flavor of parsley makes for a surprisingly tasty — not to mention healthy — salad.

You wouldn’t think a little herb could pack such a big punch of nutrition, but as it turns out, just 1/2 cup of parsley has more than half your day’s dose of vitamin C. Where did that come from, Parlsey?! It also has tons of vitamin K and A, magnesium, iron, folate… the list goes on and on.

Sooo, what I’m saying is, I’ll take as much as I can get. Especially during the winter when, let’s face it, I’m probably not eating as many veggies as I should.

Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa and Chickpeas
Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Quinoa and Chickpeas

For this version of tabbouleh, I chose to use quinoa in place of the bulgar (making it gluten-free) and some chickpeas for extra protein. A giant bowl of this salad comes together in just a few minutes, and can keep in the fridge for a week or so.

Eating big bowls of salad is something I’m known for, but in the winter when all I want is hot food, I prefer to have little helpings on the side of warm dishes. This tabbouleh is perfect for that, because I can keep it in the fridge and grab a scoop for some lightness and an added boost the nutrition with any meal.

Like this Mediterranean salad? You might enjoy my Fattoush Salad recipe, HERE.

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Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Chickpeas & Quinoa
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: vegan, gluten-free, whole 30
Serves: about 5 cups
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa*
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas (homemade, or one 16 ounce can, drained)
  • 1 cup finely diced english (hothouse) cucumber
  • 1 roma tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (or curley parsley, if you prefer it)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2-3 TBSP mild olive oil, to taste
  • 2-3 TBSP fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Add everything to a bowl. Mix. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
  2. Tabbouleh can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
*To cook quinoa:

The ratio for making quinoa is 2:1 (two parts liquid to one part dry quinoa). You can use water, vegetable stock, chicken stock, or most any other liquid for cooking your quinoa. When using stocks, I always prefer to use low-sodium varieties so I can add salt according to my tastes.
To cook, add quinoa and liquid (for example, 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups liquid) to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Season to taste.

For more flavorful quinoa, you can start by sauteing a bit of onion, garlic, or spices in a TBSP of olive oil, then add the quinoa and liquid to the pot and cook as normal. For this particular recipe, I kept the quinoa plain, seasoned very lightly with salt.

Quinoa expands a lot while cooking (just about tripling in volume), but I rarely make less than 1 cup (dry) at a time. I portion any extra into baggies, and freeze them so I always have some on hand for quick recipes like this one.

Tabbouleh adapted from THIS RECIPE on


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12 Responses to Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad with Chickpeas & Quinoa

  1. Christine | Vermilion Roots January 13, 2017 at 10:18 am #

    I would not hesitate to make this version of tabbouleh! I personally prefer flat-leaf parsley and haven’t found a lot of recipes using curly parsley. I don’t mind it but I’m not really sure how to incorporate it in cooking.

    • Willow Arlen January 13, 2017 at 11:39 am #

      I’m a flat-leaf parsley fan, too. I know a lot of people use curly parsley in tabbouleh (and I’m happy to eat it that way) but I just find flat leaf to be a little bit milder and more tender, and I use it in so many things it ends up being the only kind I buy. One of these days I’ll have to get more acquainted with it’s curly counterpart, but until then, flat leaf tabbouleh all the way!

  2. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish January 13, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    This looks amazing! Love all of those beautiful colors and textures. I love that this is gluten free too!

    • Willow Arlen January 13, 2017 at 11:59 am #

      Thanks, Emily! The quinoa does such a great job in place of the bulgar, I’m surprised more tabbouleh’s aren’t made gluten-free.

  3. sue | theviewfromgreatisland January 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    Stunning, your photos are gorgeous ~ we’re both on the vibrant Middle Eastern page today!

    • Willow Arlen January 13, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

      Thanks Sue! Sounds like it’s time for a Middle Eastern side dish party — those fried olives and yogurt sound incredible!

  4. Kathi January 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    Beautiful photos! My step grandmother was from Syria and used to make tabbouleh all the time. I had no appreciation for it as a child…but I sure love it now! Bring on the healthy dishes!

    • Willow Arlen January 13, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      Thanks Kathi! That’s wonderful that you grew up with fresh healthy foods like tabbouleh (although I’m not surprised you didn’t like it then, seems like more of a grown-up kind of taste). I’m not sure I had tabbouleh until I was an adult, but I was hooked right from the start.

  5. Karen Burns-Booth January 13, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    I co-authored a book with Quinoa recipes last year and I am a HUGE fan of it! This looks amazing, Karen

    • Willow Arlen January 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

      That’s awesome, Karen! Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. Veena Azmanov January 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    I love the idea of making the Tabbouleh with quinoa>. its very common salad here in Israel but with Burgul. I must try your version. I bet it will be popular. Thanks

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